January 31, 2011

"It would be impermissible for the court to base its decision of recidivism on its unsupported theory of genetics."

Oh, but maybe the poor judge was born with a tendency to believe that his gut instincts and stuff he's seen on the internet are scientific fact.

22 comments:

Maguro said...

In all seriousness, I would tend to trust an experienced judge's gut instinct to estimate an offender's risk of recidivism over a psychologist's evaluation. Especially with regard to child porn. I would be fascinated to hear the pyschological explanation for why this guy was unlikely to reoffend. Doubt I'd buy it either.

E.M. Davis said...

I can't stand seeing those two words next to another.

Child ... and the other one.

Quayle said...

So is the theory of a gay gene any more supported in science than the judge's speculation on a child-porn gene which the court struck down? No.

Its just that the child porn consumers are not as numerous, or are not as well organized or politically active.

And please don't rush to misunderstand my point to make your point. My point is that as a society we are selectively permitting and disallowing certain behavior according to fad and fashion of the behavior, and not according to science, as we claim we are.

We say we favor gay rights as a civil right ostensibly based on some sort of a genetic identity theory - these people are genetically gay. We feel we've been rational based in empirical science.

But then we selectively don't follow the same logic when dealing with child porn or murderous insanity, which we disallow.

Scientists have shown that there is a genetic component to psychopathy, but who here is ready to champion a psychopath's right to murder.

Consequently, we should admit that we are supporting gay rights not as grounded in science, but as a matter of public choice, and for no other reason.

(When then begs the question, for another day, of how exactly does society get to "decide" to allow some things and not others when Lawrence v. Texas and the recent Prop 8 District Court case says it can't be on the basis of the majorities' preferences or sense of morality.)

Paddy O said...

I do respect, generally, the field of psychology but I imagine a judge really does see the worst of the field -- with paid experts testifying to whatever side pays them.

And I agree with Quayle's point. The "we're born like this" argument is used to support all kinds of other policies, even without scientific support, as it's all people using their personal experience as support.

This carries over to the vehemence against psychologists attempting to help men and women not be gay. Psychologists are all over the map on that topic, after all.
If it works for one person, then they're not born that way, then the whole "that's who I am" argument crumbles.

Like Quayle notes, thus we have judges overturning state referendums, because in their opinions being gay is who some people are.

This isn't at all to equate being gay with being a child pornographer, but the legal arguments sure sound the same.

If psychological help is in no way helpful to the one, why would it be helpful to the other? Sexuality, we are told, goes to the deepest parts of who we are.

Probably something the judge has seen and heard in dealing with other similar matters, so his experiences are important, even if the science doesn't yet match up with what he knows to be true.

PaulV said...

Whether it is nature or nuture, crime runs in families. Lem B. Tuggle, Jr. was one of six inmates who was part of the largest escapees from death row with the Briley brothers. A lawyer I knew said he was involved during WW2 in the court martial of Lem Tuggle for rape.

edutcher said...

Well, his particular gut doesn't seem any dumber from Brandeis', or Brennan's, or Souter's.

Quayle said...

So is the theory of a gay gene any more supported in science than the judge's speculation on a child-porn gene which the court struck down? No.

Its just that the child porn consumers are not as numerous, or are not as well organized or politically active.


You've obviously never heard of NAMBLA, or the fact that organized homosexuality refuses to repudiate (or refudiate, if you prefer) it.

William said...

I don't know why homosexuality should be the only form genetically determined behavior. What about foot fetishes? I have read that this is the most common form of heterosexual eccentricity. The sad history of eugenics makes this field of enquiry as verboten as wife swapping at a Presbyterian synod, but the cultural vs genetic roots of sexual behavior is a fuzzy area......I understand that in many cases pedophilia is as hard wired as heterosexuality. I have some sympathys for pedophiles--or at least those who restrict their activities to looking at dirty pictures. But, of course, I have more sympathy for their potential victims. I would hate to send someone to prison for looking at verboten porno and would hate even more if my leniency caused a child to suffer. Is it possible to put pedophiles in some kind of segregated, non prison setting to live out their sad fates away from the rest of society? Retirement communities in Florida maybe.

Revenant said...

So is the theory of a gay gene any more supported in science than the judge's speculation on a child-porn gene which the court struck down?

The theory that homosexuality is congenital is very well supported.

This doesn't mean there has to be a "gay gene". It could be a combination of genes, it could be due to conditions in the womb, or it could simply be a birth defect.

Revenant said...

You've obviously never heard of NAMBLA, or the fact that organized homosexuality refuses to repudiate (or refudiate, if you prefer) it.

The major gay rights groups expelled NAMBLA from their ranks in the 1980s and 1990s. You need to update your talking points.

Revenant said...

I don't know why homosexuality should be the only form genetically determined behavior. What about foot fetishes? I have read that this is the most common form of heterosexual eccentricity.

It is widely suspected that foot fetishes have a congenital component. In the human brain, the somatosensory cortex handles processing of tactile sensations (i.e., touch). The portion of the cortex responsible for the genitals is directly next to the portion that handles feet and toes. So it is easy to see how a few improperly connected neurons could result in foot sensations and genital sensations being associated in the brain.

Alex said...

You've obviously never heard of NAMBLA, or the fact that organized homosexuality refuses to repudiate (or refudiate, if you prefer) it.

NAMBLA = key Democratic constituent.

Cedarford said...

In support of a "gene" involved in pedophilia, it is noted that little boy fuckers are uniformly gay. And their desire for young gay stuff is linked to their homosexuality.
Similarly, pederasty is linked to sexual orientation. Media did a disservice by the "pedophile" priest labelling. They and other chickenhawks were gays looking for susceptable, some even eager, willing and able young gay teen boys.

Pederasty has a long gay tradition.
Rent boys, Oscar Wilde, etc., etc. And so too in the lesbian community. The Vagina Monologues had it's infamous, now often excised part about sexually awakening a 15-year old coosie.

And heterosexual pedophilia and pederasty follows similar lines, though gay "predators" appear to be more active, with a greater number of victims per perp.

Revenant said...

Similarly, pederasty is linked to sexual orientation.

Pederasty is defined as sexual activity between an adult male and an underage male.

Pointing out that it is "linked to sexual orientation" is like saying that sparrows have been linked to birds. :)

Cedarford said...

Revenant said...
Similarly, pederasty is linked to sexual orientation.

Pederasty is defined as sexual activity between an adult male and an underage male.

Pointing out that it is "linked to sexual orientation" is like saying that sparrows have been linked to birds. :)
===============
OK, whatever the semantic equivalent is for "much-older heteros chasing newly pubescent trim".

Methadras said...

If viewing child porn is genetic, then that implies that you are not really responsible for avoiding such a thing because it's in your genetic code and therefore ends up being relegated to the realm of genetic malady. The hunt for the gay gene is fast and furious and my comment alone on this will spark another moronic debate about it.

Belkys said...

60 % of crimes are committed by sociopaths. They are 2% of the population. They kill because of their genes. Every conduct is genetically determined but the fear of punishment can overcome the impulse. If not , put them in jail until they are to weak to kill again. There is nothing wrong with punish someone for heeding to his urges, genetics or not. If they were learned would be the same
BTW: In Germany in the 70s there were people allegedly"cured from homosexuality" using an electric device. The problem was one man learnt how to use it to please himself with the device

Belkys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

If viewing child porn is genetic, then that implies that you are not really responsible for avoiding such a thing

Nobody thinks that viewing child porn is genetic. *Wanting* to view it might be. But "I have a desire to X" does not imply "I'm not really responsible for if I X".

Nobody can choose what they desire to do. The choice comes in which desires you choose to act on.

Fernandinande said...

Personality, including the bad parts, is mostly genetic (so what?), but the idea of "a gene for X" is completely bogus when X is some mental characteristic. The idea of "a gene" comes from bad MSM reporting.

"'Where does the myth of a gene for things like intelligence come from?'. It's an unfortunate headline, because she doesn't disagree with a strong genetic influence on personality, intelligence or other behavioral traits. Bishop merely explains that they are polygenic, with few genes of strong effect." John Hawks

And, FWIW, sex offenders have lower recidivism rates than most other criminals.

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